Story of the Holocaust

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Story of the Holocaust

The holocaust was the effort of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party in

Germany to exterminate the Jews and other people that they considered

to be inferior. As a result about twelve million people, about half

of them Jews, were murdered.

The murders were done by every means imaginable but most of the

victims perished as a result of shooting, starvation, disease and

poison gas. Others were tortured to death or perished in horrible

medical experiments.

Hitler took power in Germany in 1933 and almost immediately began the

chain of events that led to the holocaust. This first phase was the

persecution of Jews in Germany and the other countries invaded by

Hitler. This lasted until 1941.

During this period, while Hitler built his power, Jews were persecuted

and brutalised but there was no organised effort to systematically

murder them.

In late 1939 Hitler invaded Poland, beginning World War II. In

mid-1941 Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and at about the same time

(historians don’t agree on exactly when) Hitler decided there should

be a “Final Solution” to “the Jewish Question”.

The “Final Solution” was the murder of the Jews and was mainly carried

out by a military group known as the SS and a security service known

as the SD.

They arrested Jews and other victims ran the concentration camps and

organised the murder squads.

During the first part of the extermination one and a half million Jews

and other civilians were murdered by military groups which rounded

them up and shot them.

Gradually the emphasis changed to concentration camps, where the

prisoners worked to death as slave labourers.

Also there was another type of camp called an extermination camp in

which the victims were murdered in gas chambers.

The most famous of these camps was Auschwitz, which was a combination

of both types of camp – concentration and extermination in one place.

Approximately one million and three hundred thousand people perished
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